Could the Capture of a Mexican Crime Boss Increase Crime?

There has been some concern about increased crime following the arrest of a major Mexican crime boss. Evidence from Melissa Dell supports this concern at the local level.

Drug trade-related violence has escalated dramatically in Mexico since 2007, and recent years have also witnessed large-scale efforts to combat trafficking, spearheaded by Mexico’s conservative PAN party. This study examines the direct and spillover effects of Mexican policy towards the drug trade. Regression discontinuity estimates show that drug-related violence increases substantially after close elections of PAN mayors. Empirical evidence suggests that the violence reflects rival traffickers’ attempts to usurp territories after crackdowns have weakened incumbent criminals. Moreover, the study uses a network model of trafficking routes to show that PAN victories divert drug traffic, increasing violence along alternative drug routes.

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About ozidar

I'm an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Faculty Research Fellow at National Bureau of Economic Research. You can follow me on twitter @omzidar. http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/owen.zidar/index.html
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